Numbers 25:8

Numbers 25:8

And he went after the man of Israel into the tent
Into which he went with his harlot; the word here used is different from what is commonly used for a tent: Aben Ezra observes that in the Kedarene or Arabic language there is a word near to it, which Bochart, putting the article "al" to it, says F1, is "alkobba", from whence is the word "alcove" with us; and Aben Ezra says, there was some little difference between the form of a tent and this, as well as others observe F2 there was in the matter of it, this being of skins and leather, and the other of hair, boughs of trees the author of Aruch F3 says, it was short, or narrow above and broad below, and interprets it a place in which whores were put; and so it is used in the Talmud F4 for a brothel house, and is so translated here by some interpreters F5:

and thrust both of them through;
with his javelin, spear, or pike;

the man of Israel, and the woman through her belly;
by which, it seems, they were killed in the very act of uncleanness; this was an extraordinary action, done by a person of public authority, and under a more than common emotion of spirit, and not to be drawn into an example by persons of a private character:

so the plague was stayed from the children of Israel;
which had broke out among them and carried off many; even a disease, the pestilence, according to Josephus F6; it ceasing upon this fact of Phinehas, shows that that was approved of by the Lord.


FOOTNOTES:

F1 "conclave est camerati operis, quo lectus circumdatur", Hierozoic. par. 1. l. 4. c. 8. col. 1092. Vid. Schultens Animadv. Philolog. in Job. p. 183.
F2 Castel. Lex. Heptaglot. col. 3261.
F3 Baal Aruch, fol. 133. 4.
F4 T. Bab. Avoda Zara, fol. 17. 2.
F5 (hbqh la) "in lupanar", V. L. "ad lupanar", Montanus; "in lupanar ipsum", Junius & Tremellius; "in fornicem", Tigurine version.
F6 Ut supra. (Antiqu. l. 4. c. 6. sect. 12.)